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Language Matters

There has been a lot of discussion about the words we use when discussing diabetes and issues associated with complications. Today we share this important article about diabetes and the language we use, written by Renza S and The Grumpy Pumper - both managing their own diabetes, and both sharing important information across social media regularly.

Read their article here.


Diabetic friendly pear raspberry loaf

This week we share a recipe from one of favourite bloggers, Nikki Wallis of T1 Friendly Foodie. Nikki writes:

This recipe has become one of my favourites and between me, my husband and my kids (who mind you don’t have diabetes), it doesn’t last long, because everyone loves it!

The texture and flavour of this cake is hard to describe, other than to say it is literally like Spring on a plate. I call it my Spring Cake.

The lemon zest, fresh raspberries and coconut, give this cake an amazing burst of flavour!

And raspberries are such a great fruit if you have diabetes.

At only about 12g of carbs per 100g, raspberries are a really great way to enjoy fruit without the need to load up on lots of insulin. Raspberries, like most other berries, also have a low Glycemic Index, at only 26.

A Glycemic Index is the rating given to foods according to their carbohydrate and impact on Blood Glucose Levels (BGL). Low GI foods are rated at 55 or lower. High GI foods are rated at 70 or higher.

Click here to read the recipe.


Body Mass Index - what does it mean?

Body mass index, or BMI, is one way to assess whether your weight is in the healthy range. 

The BMI combines a person’s height and weight to form a measure that can help predict their risk of developing disease. 

Another useful measure of determining whether you could be at risk of obesity-related chronic diseases is your waist circumference. Waist circumference is a better predictor than BMI of type 2 diabetes in women and of cardiovascular disease.

Calculate your BMI here.

How many carbs per day is right for me?

This week we share a blog post from Nikki Wallis. Nikki manages her own T1 diabetes and is passionate diabetes advocate and blogs about latest news, recipes and updates. Here she talks about carbs and carb counting (and remember, everyone is different and has different requirements).

Her latest blog post says:

Do you get confused by all the information out there about diets for people with diabetes? Do you find yourself struggling to know how many carbs to eat per day, or struggling to balance your insulin and Blood Glucose Levels (BGL)?

I think we can all agree that no one person with diabetes is the same and that we all eat different foods, live different lifestyles and need tailored care to suit our individual needs.

This is quite a controversial issue, particularly when it comes to the eating plans of people with diabetes, especially when it comes to the issue of carbohydrates.

The current dietary guideline recommends eating about 230-310g of carbs per day (this guideline is not specific to people with diabetes). For me, this is far too much and I tend to eat about 105g-120g or 7-8 portions of carbs per day.

Other people recommend eating very low carb diets at around 30-50g of carbs per day (around 2 portions), with some research done into the benefits and risks of low carb eating for people with type 1 diabetes.

For me, 30-50g of carbs a day is far too low, but again, that’s just me.

So there is a lot of debate out there around how much carbohydrate people should eat, let alone how much you should eat if you have diabetes.

The issue of low carb diets, particularly for people with type 1 diabetes, is a really heated topic. There is a lot of research out there supporting the benefits of low carb diets for people with type 2 diabetes, but there just isn’t enough evidence about type 1 diabetes.

Personally, I had no idea this was such a contested issue until recently. For me, I adopted a lower carb approach to eating when I was in my teens. I had put on unwanted weight after following the recommended daily intake of carbs when I was first diagnosed with diabetes and I felt like I was constantly force-feeding myself when I just wasn’t hungry.

You may recall my earlier post, Low Carb Diets for People with t1 Diabetes.  In this post I share my experience in changing to a lower carb eating.

So what’s solution? There needs to be a common sense approach to diet and diabetes.

Diet should not be a one-size fits all. Insulin dosage is not a one-size fits so why are we taking this approach with diet? Carb intake should be as much a tailored approach as insulin dosage.

People with diabetes are not numbers, we are real people, with changing needs and differing lifestyles. So guidelines need to reflect this.

Someone who has a very sedentary lifestyle of course requires less carbs than an athlete or a very active person.

But it’s not all bad news. Diabetes Australia (DA) recently made a groundbreaking change – they released a position statement on Low Carb Eating for People With Diabetes.

Hallelujah! Finally, a diabetes organisation has come out and supported the personal decisions of people with diabetes! Thank you DA!

They recognise that some people with type 1 diabetes are seeing a benefit in reducing their carbohydrate intake.

“People with type 1 diabetes may choose to follow a low carb eating approach and they should be supported in this,” (source: DA Spring Issue of Circle Magazine).

Finally, people with T1D won’t be made to feel like they are doing the ‘wrong’ thing, by not following the current dietary guidelines… which let’s face it are out-dated even for the average person without diabetes.

DA has taken a step in the right direction to recognise the need for flexibility and a move away from rigid and prescriptive eating plans. Everyone is different.

There is still a long way to go in the diabetes diet debate. Current dietary guidelines should be updated.

In the meantime, thank you DA for being progressive and helping to support and empower people with diabetes. This position statement is a step in the right direction.

To find out more, download a copy of the position statement by clicking HERE.

Fake news and Type 2 diabetes: it’s time to tackle misinformation on lifestyle

Today we share this article from John Grumitt, Chief Executive, Changing Health. He is based in London but the information is worth sharing.

People with diabetes can’t always tell fact from fiction. And with the internet awash with conflicting sources of information on diet, exercise and glycaemic control, it’s easy to see why. In the space of just two weeks, the Daily Express alone published or republished 17 clickbait headlines on diabetes, often misleading, and designed to appeal to readers’ fears about their health.

Here are a couple of them:

Of course, that’s not to understate the public health crisis currently facing the nation - a recent estimate by Diabetes UK suggested a record 12.3 million people are now at elevated risk of developing Type 2. But we urgently need to stem this flow of misinformation.

Even the broadsheets can be prone to misrepresenting scientific evidence. The Guardian, for example, ran in August with the headline “No healthy level of alcohol consumption, says major study”. That referred to a major mata-analysis of 694 studies to work out how common drinking was, and a further 592 that assessed the health risks, accounting for a total 28 million people and published in The Lancet.

The researchers found that for each extra drink consumed in a day, the harm increased and that the lowest level of harm was zero drinks - the basis of the Guardian’s headline. It isn’t, however, that simple.

The study showed that 918 in 100,000 people who consume one drink a day can expect to experience an alcohol-related health issue. Yet 914 of those people will experience such a health issue no matter what, meaning only four in 100,000 do so as a direct result of consuming one drink a day(1). The study also did not account for other factors that may have been the actual cause of harm - drinkers are more likely be poorer and to smoke, for example.

Again, this is not to understate the risks; it’s beyond doubt that drinking is detrimental to health. The point, however, is that misleading headlines create a widespread lack of understanding what constitutes an achievable, healthy lifestyle - with significant implications for public health.

Many people are unaware, for example, that consuming carbs, not fats, is what typically leads to weight gain. Another common misconception is that Type 2 diabetes is a sign of having eaten too many sweets, rather than too much bread and pasta.

Read the rest of this article here.

Diabetic Friendly Date Cake

Fancy something a little sweet and tasty? This week we're sharing one of our favourite blogs from Nikki at t1FriendlyFoodie. Date Cake!

Prep Time 25 minutes
 Cook Time 55 minutes
 Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
 Author Nikki Wallis


  • 50 g Lupin flour
  • 150 g Almond meal
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of soda
  • 2 tsp Baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp Mixed spice
  • 50 g Pecan nuts
  • 100 g Dates
  • 2 Eggs (Large 800g)
  • 1 tsp 100% Pure unsweetened vanilla extract
  • 1 cup Hot water (used to soak the dates)
  • 3/4 cup Full cream milk
  • 1/8 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder
  • 85 g Light cream cheese

For the vanilla batter: 100g almond meal, 1 tsp baking powder, 1-8 tsp 100% pure Stevia extract powder, 1 egg, 1/4 cup full cream milk, 1/2 tsp 100% pure unsweetened vanilla extract.

    For the icing: 50g dates, 85g light cream cheese, 1/8 cup hot water, 1/4 tsp mixed spice.


      1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a small square baking tin (15cm x 15cm) with baking paper (bottom and sides). 

      2. Remove seeds from dates (if they aren't already de-seeded). Place dates into a small bowl and soak in boiling hot water (enough to cover them) for approximately 15-20 minutes. 

      3. To make the date batter, add 100g of the dates (approximately five large dates), from the bowl into a blender or food processor. Add 3/4 cup of milk and blend until the dates are smooth (you can leave some chunks in).  

      4. Add the blended dates and milk to a mixing bowl. Add the other wet ingredients including egg and vanilla and mix well with a spoon. 

      5. In a separate bowl, add all the dry ingredients including the lupin flour and almond meal, Stevia, bicarbonate of soda, banking powder and mixed spice and stir together til well combined. 

      6. Roughly crush the pecan nuts and add them to the dry ingredients and mix well. 

      7. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and mix together until well combined. Leave aside while you prepare the vanilla batter. 

      8. To make the vanilla batter, combine the almond meal, baking powder, Stevia, egg vanilla and milk together in a bowl and mix until well combined. 

      9. To assemble the cake, pour half of the date batter into the lined tin. Then on top of this, pour all of the vanilla batter. Lastly, pour the remaining date batter on top and smooth out with a spatula. 

      10. Bake cake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius for approximately 55 mins or until cooked (pierce the centre with a wooden skewer and it should come out clean). Once the cake is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to cool. 

      11. To make the icing, remove the remaining soaked dates from the hot water and place in a small blender or food processor along with 1/8 cup of the water in which they were soaking (you can use the back of a fork to mash the dates if you prefer). Blend until the dates are smooth. 

      12. Add the pureed dates to a bowl, along with the cream cheese and mixed spice and stir until all ingredients are well combined. 

      13. Remove the cake from the cake tin and spoon over the icing on top of the cake, using the back of a knife or spatula. Smooth over so the cake is evenly covered. 

      14. Cut the cake into six even rectangular slices and serve. 

        Nutritional information for Date Cake

      If it's in the pantry, it'll end up on your plate.

      Here's the latest blog from our lovely dietitian Sherie!

      Lets face it, how often do we head to the supermarket without a shopping list and end up buying everything in sight 👀. Not only does it add an extra cost to the bill, but we end up eating these foods, some of which are healthy and some not so much. 

      By planning what type of meals we want to eat during the week and allocating these items on the shopping list (plus a few extras in the pantry in case we have unexpected guests or change our mind), we are;
      1) Giving ourselves peace of mind earlier in the week, 
      2) Ensuring meals have variety and are tasty and
      3) Ensuring these meals are nutritionally balanced. 
      Otherwise Uber eats and other online deliveries become our best friend especially during our busy weeknights🏃

      So...How do we plan these meals in advance ensuring they are healthy, varied and tasty?

      1) Since we eat with our eyes and our senses, choose meals that you will enjoy! Let's not set ourselves up for disappointment. Make a list of what meals you are likely to want for the week, taking into consideration you might swap days around or you may go out for a meal etc ✍

      2) Ensure your main meal plate has the following combinations:
      - 50% salad or veggies 🤚. Which is pretty much the bulk of it. It should be non-starchy veggies or salad. Any type; fresh, baked, steamed, roasted, stirfry, pan fry, bbq, however you like it. Don't let one negative experience or one type of vegetable taint your view on this healthy, low calorie, filling, fibrous element of your meal. Crunch, sip, munch and enjoy.
      - 25% low GI carbs 👊; like potato, sweet potato, corn, quinoa, long grain/basmati rice and so on. These fill us up and give fuel/glucose for our muscles and brain and who wouldn't want that?. 25% of your plate is the size of your fist. Remember each person has their own personalised fist, therefore,their own serving size.
      - 25% lean protein;🖐like red meat, white meat, oily fish, legumes, tofu. This compliments the meal and adds taste, texture, satiety and may also help sustain your blood glucose levels and avoid you from overeating on your carbs. Let's be real, we all like a bit of protein on our taste buds. Remember 25% is the size of your palm not your arm:) 

      3) Either pre-cut your salads/veggies in advance, place in an airtight container and leave in the fridge for all your meals throughout the week, buy pre-cut salad/veggies or use frozen ones. Chopping can take time if one is in a hurry after work, so don't let that deter you and forward plan just a little. 

      4) Ensure the night before or the morning of, that you are prepared so that there is no rush or pressure on your way home from work, school etc.

      These little tricks of the trade may be a good starting point and before you know it, will integrate themselves into your lifestyle :) you won't know how things were before. 

      Remember what you see in the pantry and on your plate, is a result of the choices you make. So let's make the healthy choice, the easy one. 
      Bon Appetit everyone 🍽

      Sherie Sourial- APD, CDE


      Parents of children with diabetes

      To be friends with someone who has a child in the same position as yours is irreplaceable.”
      This blog post by Renza is particularly emotive for us as this is why we started this service.  Read about the new initiative by Diabetes Victoria who are raising money for ConnecT1ons, an event that will give parents a break and let them connect with other parents of kids with type 1 diabetes.

      Help parents of kids with type 1 diabetes

      23 August 2018
      By Kim Henshaw

      As a child growing up with type 1 diabetes, I didn’t often think about how my diabetes management affected my parents. It’s only been in recent times that I have really understood what it was like for them.

      For the past 14 months, I’ve been working on a project for parents of children with type 1 diabetes. Through numerous interviews, emails and conversations with affected parents, I have gained an understanding of the issues they face every day.

      Read what Renza has to say about the program here.

      Changing the way we speak about diabetes

      Let's all help change the way we speak about diabetes.

      | | diabetes, diabetes speak | Read more

      What are low GI foods?

      This week we are looking at low GI foods - what are they and why are they important for helping to manage blood sugar levels. One of our favourite Diabetes Educators has written this helpful blog. Nikki Wallis says:

      Q. What is the difference between low GI and low carb?

      A. Low GI ‘diets’are more about the quality of the carbohydrate eaten, whereas low carb ‘diets’ are about the quantity of carbohydrates eaten.

      The glycemic index (or GI) is a ranking of carbohydrates on a scale from 0 to 100, according to how much they raise blood sugar (glucose) levels after they’re eaten.

      High GI foods are quickly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause fluctuations in blood glucose levels.

      Low GI foods (55 or less) are more slowly digested, absorbed and metabolised and cause a lower and slower rise in blood glucose and therefore usually, lower insulin levels too.

      Low carb refers to the restriction of carbohydrates in the diet. There are three levels of low carbohydrate diet including very low, moderate and high carb. A very low carb diet has around ~50g or less of carbs per day and can lead to ketoacidosis.

      Australian dietary guidelines recommend that for adults, carbohydrates should make up 45-65% of our total energy intake, or 230g-310g of carbs per day.

      It’s important for anyone with t1d who is looking to start a low carb eating plan, to speak with their healthcare team.

      You can read the rest of this article here.

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